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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour



by Denise DuPont

The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour (NWSMT) went to Caraway Speedway for the first time in 2010 for the second race on the tour’s 2010 schedule. There are a lot of teams that have won at Caraway and it was hard to select who would be the victor in the end. During practice sessions on Saturday and Sunday Andy Seuss was fast in the Riggs Racing #47 tour mod, but James Civali in the end had the fastest car in practice when the short Sunday practice session finished.

In the end, Seuss was able to pick his third win at Caraway and seventh career win on the Southern tour with the Riggs #47 Race Team. “I am just excited. We did not change anything on the car. We came out and just went to the top of the speed chart. The car was good. We did not want to dial ourselves out too much because of the way we had to enter the first turn. We knew that setup was fast and we should be good.”

Burt Myers started the pole with Andy Seuss on his outside after their luck in the redraw of the top six cars. Starting on the top groove is normally the place to be at Caraway Speedway, but the recent heavy rains left the track a little slick.

As the race started, Burt Myers and Seuss raced hard side by side but by the end of the first lap Seuss had his car ahead of Myers. “Before the redraw, I would have loved an odd number,” said Seuss. “Typically the outside pole here is better at Caraway, because you can run the outside pole. I put it out of my mind and knew I just had to run my race and when I came down into turn one I had to see if the grip was there and fortunately the car stuck. It took a couple of laps but we cleared Burt and I was able to lead the rest of the way.”

Seuss led for all 150 laps holding off the hard charges of both Burt Myers and LW Miller. “We were really racing the track and I knew I had to get out front early. Usually you try and pace yourself here but I knew it was going to be tough getting up through and going through traffic. It was a good battle with Burt (Myers) pretty much all race long and then later with LW (Miller).”

LW Miller passed Burt Myers to go forward to battle for the lead and another Caraway win. When Seuss saw him in his rear view mirror he knew he had to get ready for a challenge. “He has a ton of wins here. He knows how to get around and he knows how to get it done. He ran me clean and we had a good race there. He was better there on long runs probably and I was better on short runs. So it was a lot of fun.”

LW Miller in the end was the runner up and second place finisher. He had a good car but lady luck through him a twist early on in the race when he was pushed up high into the top groove. “We had ups and downs all day. We had a pretty good race. I do not know if we had a car to win or not and come the end of the night, we did. I got knocked up there in the water early and lost some spots. I fell back to sixth I guess. It was real hard to work my way up through. There was no outside groove on the high groove so it was just about impossible to pass. I just used the restarts and traffic to pick my way up to second.”

There were only four cautions but when the last one occurred with only 15 laps to go, it sealed the fate of Miller. “I actually had a better car then the #47 (Andy Seuss) on hot tires, but every time the caution came out, the tires would cool down and he was better than me for about ten laps. So we really did not need the caution there with about fifteen to go. I guess we went back racing when there was about ten to go and I had nothing to run him down. At that point I needed those ten laps just to get my car back in.”

“We will just keep on working on it,” said Miller after the race. “It has been a while since we have been in Victory lane. But we have won a whole lot of races, I guess more than anybody else. So we know how to win, we just have to get our heads back on straight to get back to where we need to be and I feel it will be coming real shortly.”.

James Civali made a hard charge to get to the front but he had to settle for third place after coming up short on tires. “This track is real tough on tires. We set the car up and we hoped it would be good at the end. We road around for the first seventy-five or hundred laps saving tires, that was all that we were doing. I guess when we had thirty or forty to go we went after it. We started passing some cars and got to third on that last restart and did what we could. I just did not have enough. We just missed it by a little bit. I used the tires up a little bit too much I guess. So third place was all we could get”.

The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified teams now have three weeks off and then they will be back racing April 3rd at South Boston Speedway.

Caraway Speedway Race Notes:

Andy Seuss
Thoughts after the race:

“It was a really neat deal. I never had a two day show here. I never ran here in the day light so that was new to us. We knew that the track might be a little different. Obviously it was a challenge all weekend with the water coming up through the track. So it was a good time but overall it is just a real privilege to drive this car. The guys do a great job with it (#47 Riggs Race Car) and every effort that goes into it.”

“It was just an awesome day. It was pretty neat having my mom here. She has not seen me win in a few years, so that was pretty cool. I am happy to be racing back with Riggs.”

With their thoughts already on the next Caraway event, the team is already thinking on how they could make their winning race car better. “I think the next time we come back here we will get our stagger a little closer and we will be able to get where I run up higher. Where I normally run on the track there was water. We will be really good. We were good enough today but I think we can be a lot better.”

Andy’s Upcoming plans for racing:
“I am looking forward to South Boston race (NWSMT) and Waterford in a couple of weekends with my own car (Modified Racing Series Opening Race Event).”

Andy and #47 Car’s 2010 Sponsorship
“Our situation is definitely different from last year. We were backed by a Fortune 500 Company for the last couple of years. It wasn’t a ton of money but it helped go a long way. I think it would be good business opportunity for anybody that would like to get involved with racing. We have some extra space on the car that is not filled this year and if anybody is interested just get in contact with us.”

James Civali
Was the weeping of the track an issue for James Civali?
“Yes, it was an issue for every body. No matter what you did you were going to hit water somewhere. No matter what groove were in, there was no way around it. If you hit it, it (the car) was out of control. The car would slide right out from underneath you. There was nothing you could do; everybody was in the same situation. It was not as bad running two wide as we thought because you were above the water a little bit, so it wasn’t quite as bad. So it turned out alright. But I mean if you hit it you knew. No matter what you did it just came back. It was not like something would dry out. It was just keeping replenishing. It was tough.”

  Source: Denise DuPont /
Posted: February 15, 2010

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